Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bon Jovi

Tonight @ Marcus Amphitheater, 7:30 p.m.

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It’s been two decades since Bon Jovi made a 1989 April Fool’s Day stop at the Bradley Center on the band’s grueling 17-month, 232-date “New Jersey Syndicate Tour,” but Jon and the boys are still going strong. Missing only one original member (bassist Alec John Such, who was dismissed 15 years ago), Bon Jovi has survived grunge, boy bands and nu-metal—not to mention spandex and hairspray—to accomplish a level of success they never quite achieved even during those heady days of Slippery When Wet and New Jersey.

Until 2007, the band never had an album debut at number one on the Billboard charts, then along came the country-tinged Lost Highway, a disc Jon has referred to as “a Bon Jovi album influenced by Nashville.” And since 2006, the group has also seen some action on the country-music charts. Such crossover appeal would have bordered on sacrilege 20 years ago, and might have even have marked the death of the band, but today, Bon Jovi’s willingness to diversify, while still bringing along a good chunk of its original fan base, is likely the reason why these guys are still headlining stages the size of the Marcus Amphitheater.